* * *
Many people simply take it for granted that a hospital will have the necessary clean equipment on hand to deal with whatever situations might arise during surgery. However, an unusually high number of errors at The Detroit Medical Center’s Midtown hospitals is giving many patients pause.
These hospitals have been plagued with serious problems pertaining to the proper cleaning and sterilization of surgical instruments and other tools. According to the Detroit News, surgeons and staff members at the hospitals have been complaining for more than a decade about instruments being broken, improperly cleaned and even missing altogether.
In 1960, the city of Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city that the world had ever seen. Nearly two million people lived there, and it had the highest per capita income in the United States. That may be hard to believe, because today it actually has one of the lowest per capita incomes of all of our major cities. Over the decades more than a million people have left the city, and thousands of abandoned homes have been torn down. But there are still tens of thousands of abandoned dwellings that remain standing, and some have sold for as little as one dollar in recent years. Once Detroit was the envy of the entire planet, but now it has become a global joke and in other countries they love to do news stories about “the ruins of Detroit” to show how rapidly America is rotting and decaying. Sadly, Detroit is far from alone, because there are other formerly great manufacturing cities that have declined just as fast as Detroit has.
Earlier today, I came across a video that contains footage that someone recently captured as they drove through the city of Detroit at night. To say that the footage is disturbing would be a tremendous understatement…
On December 10, 2014 the city of Detroit exited bankruptcy.
It was the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.
The bondholders were totally screwed in favor of the pensioners (not that I generally like bondholders).
Regardless, everything was supposed to be fixed. It wasn’t.
Thousands of households are being subjected to ongoing terminations
Despite the business media praise of the actual program of dislocation and underdevelopment aimed at long-time residents disguised as “revitalization”, the City of Detroit is slated to embark upon a new round of massive water shut-offs.
Already pressured by a collapsing economy and a financial state of emergency, the people of Flint, Michigan, were also deprived of clean water in 2014, when the state decided to switch the city’s water source to the notoriously mucky Flint River in a bid to save money. In the absence of proper treatment, the water eroded the lead service lines and put all residents in danger. Although the lead-poisoned locals and children are now forced to deal with the consequences of this reckless act for the rest of their lives, the city and state officials responsible have yet to pay any noteworthy price.
More than a foot (30 cm) of snow in some Detroit suburbs
Saturday’s 6 inches (15 cm) of snow at Detroit Metro Airport shattered the previous Nov. 21 record of 1.4 inches set in 1893, according to the National Weather Service.
Clarkston was buried beneath 15.5 inches of snow, while Rochester Hills, Ortonville, Lakeville, Milford and Holly all received a foot of snow or more. Armada recorded 10 inches of snow, while 8.2 inches fell in Garden City.
– Satanic Temple unveils Baphomet statue, protesters say ‘Satan has no place’ in Detroit (RT, July 26, 2015):
Dozens of protesters gathered in Detroit to protest the unveiling ceremony of a controversial bronze Baphomet statue by the Satanic Temple. When the one-ton goat-headed statue was finally exposed, supporters welcomed it, and cheered “Hail Satan!”
The Satanic Temple kept the location of the unveiling of the colossal monument secret until the last moment, emailing the information to ticket holders only. The group received threats that protesters would allegedly blow it up or burn it down, according to the Raw Story.
– ‘A Crime’: Groups Say Detroit Bankruptcy Plan Benefits Rich, Attacks Working People (Common Dreams, Nov 10, 2014):
Newly-approved Plan of Adjustment means sacrificing pensions, healthcare, city services, they say
A group of Detroit residents is condemning the city’s newly-approved restructuring plan to exit bankruptcy as a deal that will further benefit the wealthy and corporate class while hurting working people.
As Democracy Now! reported Monday:
– Man Tries to Trade Decrepit Detroit House for New iPhone (ABC News, ‘
One homeowner is resorting to bartering for the latest iPhone as a tactic to sell a beleaguered property in Detroit.
The owner has dropped the asking price on a three-bedroom home in east Detroit from $5,000 to a new iPhone 6 as the owner is desperate to sell ahead of the area’s tax auction season where “thousands” of homes near foreclosure will flood the market, real estate broker Larry Else told ABC News.
“This house is really not worth much at all,” Else said.
Oct 4, 2014
The Detroit water shutoff for people who have fallen two months behind on their water bill will continue, after the moratorium on the shutoffs was overturned. With Detroit struggling with recession and rampant bankruptcy, and resources to contact the water department failing to keep up with demand, the water shutoffs have been harder to overturn and outsourced to independent contractors that are not following the regulations to insure citizens are not being denied their necessary resources. We look at video from Detroit, and discuss the collapse of a human right in Detroit on the Lip News with Mark Sovel and Elliot Hill.
– Detroit fire department has alert system made of pop cans, doorbells (Freep, Sep 6, 2014):
Detroit is so broke that firefighters get emergency alerts through pop cans, coins, door hinges, pipes and doorbells.
And they make these gizmos themselves — one involving a pop can that gets tipped over by an incoming fax. The clink of the can means there’s an emergency. Then there’s the chain-reaction gadget: a fax hits a door hinge, which then tugs on a wire, which then sets off a doorbell.
– With Half Of City Residents Delinquent, Detroit Restarts Water Shut-Offs (ZeroHedge, Aug 26, 2014):
“Utility disconnection is always considered a last resort, obviously because of consequences for households,” but as Detroit News reports, but water-providers can expect more controversy, as a month-long moratorium against shutting off water for those behind on their bills expired last night. Halting service to people that don’t pay generate outrage among not just Detroit residents but a wider audience who proclaim ‘water should be a right‘. However, as one utility director noted, “We’ve seen a lot more payments…They need that little kick in the pants to get in here and do it.” Water industry experts say c
Demonstrators protest against the Detroit Water and Sewer Department July 18, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Detroit Water and Sewer Department have disconnected water to thousands of Detroit residents who are delinquent with their bills. (AFP Photo / Getty Images / Joshua Lott)
– Thirsty for justice: Detroit protesters flood streets over water shutdown (RT, July 19, 2014):
Hundreds of demonstrators paraded through Detroit, protesting the city’s decision to terminate water supplies to thousands of residents with delinquent accounts.
“Fight, fight; water is a human right,” the protesters chanted as they marched the city on Friday. Media estimated their number at 300-1,000 people.
The protest was organized by the group National Nurses United, which says the termination of water supplies, in the middle of summer, could turn into a public health emergency. The group’s co-president, Jean Ross, called the shutoffs an “attack on the basic human right of access to safe, clean water.”
Watch the photos here:
– The Death And Decay Of Detroit In Real Time, As Seen From The Streets (ZeroHedge, June 7, 2014):
With the stock market hitting record highs day after day, it is easy to move on and forget that one of American’s once premier cities, Detroit, has been bankrupt for nearly a year. But out of mind doesn’t mean out of sight, especially now that Google has launched its street view Time Machine, which provides for 7 years worth of street images, capturing the time shift of the tumultuous period period starting in 2007. One blogger who decided to take this time lapse data and apply it to the city of Detroit is GooBing Detroit who, as the following time-lapse photos demonstrate, has captured Detoit’s unprecedented slow-motion collapse into death and decay in what is the closest we have to “real time.”
Perhaps what is most stunning about the following series of photos is not the ultimate fate of the bankrupt city, but how quickly a once vibrant metropolis has succumbed to blight and sheer desperation.
Hopefully not coming to a street near you.
All photos from the Goobingdetroit tumblr depict various areas and streets in Detroit, then and now.
– Will Detroit Be The First Major Chinese City In The United States? (Economic Collapse, May 5, 2014):
Is Detroit destined to become a Chinese city? Chinese homebuyers and Chinese businesses are starting to flood into the Motor City, and the governor of Michigan is greatly encouraging this. In fact, he has formally asked the Obama administration for 50,000 special federal immigration visas to encourage even more immigration from China and elsewhere. So will Detroit be the first major city in the United States to be dominated by China? It could happen. Once upon a time, Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city in the history of the world and it had the highest per capita income in the entire country. But now it is a rotting, decaying, bankrupt hellhole that is in desperate need of a savior, and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder appears to be fully convinced that China can be that savior.
– No seat at the table: The invisible victims of Detroit’s bankruptcy (Al Jazeera, April 25, 2014):
America Tonight’s Azmat Khan reveals the forgotten creditors who stand to become casualties of the city of Detroit twice over, through no fault of their own and with little means to do anything about it
Al Jazeera April 18, 2014
Eighty thousand buildings fill Detroit’s landscape, the result of 50 years of decline. Unsightly and dangerous abandoned buildings line city streets in crime-filled neighborhoods. Now, Detroit is embarking on an effort to clean house. In its bankruptcy restructuring, the city has proposed to set aside half a billion dollars toward demolishing and fixing up rundown buildings. Bisi Onile-Ere reports from Detroit, Michigan.
– The Political Conspiracy Behind the Bankruptcy of Detroit: Anatomy of a Crime (WSWS, Feb 21, 2014):
The Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit and the Attack on the DIA & Pensions was held Saturday February 15 at Wayne State University. The WSWS published an initial report on the meeting on February 17. Today we publish an edited version of the report to the Inquiry delivered by Larry Porter, assistant national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party and chairman of the Workers Inquiry.
Video coverage of Lawrence Porter’s full report to the Inquiry
Why was Detroit taken into bankruptcy?
In my report, I have the responsibility of uncovering the evidence of a crime.
H/t reader M.G.:
“Another story from the UK Guardian….about Detroit. This is happening all over America while our corrupt leaders fiddle………”
– The death of a great American city: why does anyone still live in Detroit? (Guardian, April 3, 2014):
The city’s social contract was shredded long ago and everyone knows time is running out – but some Detroiters have hope
Khalil Ligon couldn’t tell if the robbers were in her house. She had just returned home to find her front window smashed and a brick lying among shattered glass on the floor. Ligon, an urban planner who lives alone on Detroit’s east side, stepped out and called the police.
It wasn’t the first time Ligon’s home had been broken into, she told me. And when Detroit police officers finally arrived the next day, surveying an area marred by abandoned structures and overgrown vegetation, they asked Ligon a question she often ponders herself: why is she still in Detroit?
– Detroit: bankrupt city readies for divisive $450m Red Wings arena (Detroit, March 29, 2014):
• Billionaire Mike Illitch to build new hockey stadium
• Critics question use of $284.5m of public money
Police have started handing out parking tickets outside The Comet Bar, a cozy if incongruous spot smack in the middle of the blighted deadzone between downtown and midtown Detroit. Not so long ago it was hard enough to get the cops to come for a shooting, says the Comet’s pink-haired barmaid, who goes by the name of Nine.
The ticketing appears to be part of a drive to prepare the area for one of the biggest urban renewal projects Detroit has ever seen. And one that is dividing the community. Soon the contractors will move in to start work on a sports and entertainment district at the centre of which will be a $450m arena for the Detroit Red Wings ice hockey team – funded in large part by this bankrupt city.
– US Prepares To Provide A Billion To Ukraine As Detroit Plans Mass Water Shutoffs Over $260 Million (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2014):
Moments ago the CBO released its estimate of what S. 2124, aka “Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014“, better known as the “Payment of Overdue Gazprom Invoices Act” – here is the verdict: “CBO estimates that enacting the bill would decrease direct spending by $373 million over the 2014-2024 period. S. 2124 would achieve that decrease mostly by rescinding funds that were provided as an emergency requirement. Certain sanctions, if enacted, would affect revenues, but CBO estimates that those effects would not be significant. Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending and revenues. CBO estimates that the statutory pay-as-you-go effects of S. 2124 (which, by law, do not including the effect of rescinding funds provided under the emergency designation) would be to increase the deficit by $320 million over the 2014-2024 period.” Of course, the total amount authorized is substantially higher at $1.3 billion, and will be met through various loan guarnatees, and other US-backed promises, which the CBO is assuming right now, will not result in outlays (they will).
Either way, one thing is certain: in order to enforce the fading Pax Americana in the Ukraine, and to keep the funding to the otherwise insolvent Ukraine flowing, which as everyone knows will be first and foremost used to pay Russia’s Gazprom, the US is about to send lots of money abroad. As in, not in the US.
So when it comes to priorities, whom does Putin have to thank for the billions in Western funds he is about to receive? Maybe he can start in Detroit, where the local utility is planning mass water shutoffs over $260M in delinquent bills.
In other words, while the US is enforcing some odd international law, according to which a democratic vote is not credible but a violent coup is, US citizens are about to have no drinking water over a paltry $260 million.
From Detroit News: